FARM, HUNT, OR FISH #LIKEAGIRL
The Super Bowl is a special time of year when football fans gather around their oversized flat-screen TVs, chowing down on assorted cheesy/fried foods while they root for (or root against) the teams in the big game. Many, on the other hand, simply tolerate the game so that they can get to the good part: the commercials. The tradition of barely paying attention to commercials when one watches television is flipped around, as people will socialize and banter while football is on the screen, but then turn deftly quiet as the announcers throw to another commercial break. Companies shell out millions of dollars for 30-60 seconds of ad time, in hopes that the millions of viewers at home will take notice. They put all their creative efforts into crafting the perfect message that will resonate with the most people, and have them all talking about it on social media. One ad from the game really stood out. It was from Always, a brand of feminine products. The campaign asks people what it means to do certain activities (run, fight, throw) like a girl, then asks “When did doing something ‘like a girl’ become an insult?” The point coming across is that we as a society have been negatively conditioned to think that doing anything “like a girl” is “less than.” Then, young girls under the age of 10 are asked the same question. They respond confidently and strongly. Young girls have not become accustomed to certain societal expectations, so they answered (correctly) that the way in which they do things is perfectly normal. This got us to thinking. With the rise in female participation in activities/occupations such as farming, hunting, fishing, bull riding, auto racing, and dozens of others, has society’s perception of women’s roles in these fields changed? While society may still have certain views about gender, those activities listed above have become more balanced. An individual in those fields will be more likely judged by their merits than their gender. According to the latest census information, females make up anywhere between 12-15% of the total populations for farming and hunting in the United States, and they are making a strong impact. The numbers continue to rise as the perception begins to change about what women can accomplish in these fields. In many instances, women are the leaders in their respective fields. Mary Kraft of Badger Creek Dairy in Fort Morgan, Colorado:
“It used to be you didn't inherit if you were a girl from a farm family," she says. "And I think [now] people are going, 'I want somebody who's going to carry on the farm. So if it's the young lady ... awesome.”
The Outdoor Channel’s Eva Shockey:
“Compared to just last year, the number of women I meet—young girls, teenagers, moms with babies, older women—who tell me they hunt or are taking up hunting is incredible . . .Women are coming on full force.”
So we want to hear what you have to say on the matter, especially if you are a woman involved in one of these areas. How do you feel that you’re perceived? Do you feel you’re given the respect your male counterparts receive? What are the barriers, if any, that you have to break through to be on equal footing in your industry? Does your definition of a female farmer/hunter/etc. differ in any way?